Bay of Pigs Veterans and Cuban exile leaders attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Manolo Reyes at the Bay of Pigs Memorial Park
District 4 Commissioner Manolo Reyes announced the completion of renovations made to the Bay of Pigs Memorial Park, and unveiled a new monument in honor of the Cubans who fought during the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
This park renovation is the first renovation in 2022 made possible by the commissioner whose focus has been improving the quality of life of the community one park at a time. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place on April 12, 2023, at the Bay of Pigs Memorial Park to honor the Cuban the exiles who participated in the April 17, 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Brigade 2506.
Honoring the Brigade 2506 veterans
In 1961, over 1,400 exiles from Cuba arrived at the Bay of Pigs on April 17. Their unwavering willingness to give their lives up for a free Cuba was remarkable. Of those 1,400 freedom fighters, only 537 are alive today.
The City of Miami District 4 Commissioner Manolo Reyes quoted the Cuban poet and nationalist Jose Marti’s phrase, “In honoring, we are honored.” He speaks passionately about this critical point in the history of Cuba and stated that it is his duty to honor those freedom fighters who left their country behind. He went to say that it was very important to him that history is told and told correctly.
The ribbon cutting took place and many gathered in solidarity under rain and shine. The monument itself has the whole history of the Bay of pigs Invasion in both languages for the community and tourists to read.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion is considered to be the most important armed action against the Communist Regime of Cuba to date. It was a catastrophe because these young ages and lives lost of the freedom fighters who were recruited, trained, landed, and abandoned by the USA.
According to Commissioner Manolo Reyes, the monument will keep their memories alive and be a part of Miami’s community forever. He extended his gratitude to all the freedom fighters – dead and alive – for fighting so courageously in the Bay of Pigs Invasion for a free Cuba.
More on the renovations and Bay of Pigs monument
Located at 200 SW 56th Avenue, Miami, 33134, the Bay of Pigs Memorial park has received $1.5 million worth of improvements to add new sidewalks, a playground, outdoor fitness equipment, a drinking fountain, on-street parking, lighting, and drainage. The City of Miami gathered funds from the Miami Forever Bond with the help of Miami-Dade County and Miami Parking Authority to complete the improvement project.
Nilda Comas sculpted the new monument that features the Cuban flag and a freedom fighter – depicting a scene from the Bay of Pigs invasion. The freedom fighter in the monument is the first Cuban soldier who was accidentally killed during the invasion training. The number 2506 became the number of the leading brigade for the invasion as well as the association of the veterans today. The Cuban exile community leaders and invasion veterans were all present in the ceremony.
More park improvements and renovations on the way
In early May Commissioner Manolo Reyes, together with the Department of Parks and Recreations and the Office of Capital Improvement (OCI), will proudly inaugurate a new Olympic size pool, aquatic Center, basketball court and walkway at Shenandoah Park which is located at 1800 SW 21 Avenue, Miami, FL.
“Looking at the completion of the first phase of the remodeling project in this park is having one of the greatest promises made to my residents of the area come true. I can give them back a totally remodeled green space that the whole family can enjoy. The task was not easy, with a lot of effort, we raised a total of $9 million dollars to cover the total cost. This is a sample of how far we can go when we incorporate the neighbor’s participation in the design of what we want to achieve, Commissioner Reyes said.
Phase One of the improvements to the Shenandoah Park renovation took place on October 24, 2022 and completed the construction of a new outdoor fitness area, the reconstruction of the main park entrance, the improvement of the spaces that connect with the library, and the installation of new benches and rest areas. Shenandoah Park was built in 1940 and is a total 114,000 square feet. Once this project is completed, 70% will be fully renovated.
The series of park revivations began with Bryan Park which hwas renovated in 2021 and Gold Star Family Memorial Mini Park which was inaugurated in 2022.
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